Kapi?olani Medical Center for Women & Children welcomes new hosp - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kapi?olani Medical Center for Women & Children welcomes new hospital facility dog

It’s a girl! Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children introduced the newest addition to its staff on Girls’ Day, March 3. Winnie, a one-year-old Labrador Retriever, was welcomed as Kapi‘olani’s new hospital facility dog and Chief Canine Officer by staff, patients and invited guests at a special introduction event at the medical center.

Kapi‘olani CEO Martha Smith introduced Winnie, along with Dr. Wendi Hirsch, a Kapi‘olani pediatric psychologist who will be Winnie’s handler. Winnie was also presented with her official Kapi‘olani employee ID badge.

“Everyone at Kapi‘olani has been eagerly anticipating this day, and we are very excited to welcome Winnie to the team,” said Smith. “We’re very grateful to Assistance Dogs of Hawai‘i for gifting us with Winnie. She will play an important role in the care provided to our pediatric patients, and we know she will do a wonderful job in carrying on the legacy of our first hospital facility dog, Tucker.”

Kapi‘olani’s first hospital facility dog, Tucker, passed away in August 2016. He served as Kapi‘olani’s Chief Canine Officer for nine years.

The hospital facility dog program at Kapi‘olani provides comfort to pediatric patients, many times at the bedside, through the use of a dog that is specially-trained for full-time work in a hospital setting. Funding for this program, which comes from donations, also supports participation in activities within the medical center and outside in the community.

Winnie was trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawai‘i, a nonprofit organization on Maui that trains service dogs to support people with disabilities and to provide comfort and courage to children in hospitals and courthouses.

Copyright 2017.  Hawaii News Now.  All Rights Reserved.

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